When you walk into a bar and there is large reproduction of Valezquez’ painting The Drunkards on the wall you know you’re somewhere special.
El Tokio (named after the street it is on, rather than any link to the Japanese capital) is quite way off the beaten track tucked away in Villa Santa Rita which is not a barrio most tourists or even expats have heard of, let alone visited.
So when we arrived on a quiet, sunny, Saturday afternoon we weren’t sure what to expect and at first glance it didn’t feel like we were still in the same city. The streets felt empty and dusty, with a couple of old boys sitting outside the bar watching us, their pickup trucks next to the kerb, like a slightly less-menacing Argentine version of Deliverance.
The bar is lined with pictures (the aforementioned Velazquez copy being the star), football shirts and jockey colours and the menu is classic Argentine bar fare – we were impressed by the deal on rabas and Stella Artois – pleasingly specific and a great mix to boot.
El Tokio is not the sort of place you just drop into, but if you’re ever out that way, it’s well worth a detour. Let me know how the rabas are.
El Tokio: Av Alvarez Jonte 3550
Colectivos: 24, 109, 124
This page is part of a series examining the Notable Bars of Buenos Aires.